‘Explosive spending’ continues as midterm election day nears

'Explosive spending' continues as midterm election day nears
'Explosive spending' continues as midterm election day nears(DC Bureau)
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 2:07 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The midterm elections are just weeks away and candidates are making their last-minute pitches to voters. Aiding those efforts is historic amounts of money.

“We’re making sure that our party and our candidates have the resource to win their election,” said Danielle Alvarez, a Republican National Committee spokesperson.

“This matters. And we’re doing the work and we’re doing it really well,” said Sam Cornale, executive director for the Democratic National Committee.

The two major political parties going blow for blow this election cycle in fundraising and spending. According to the Federal Election Commission, through the end of the 2018 midterm cycle, under $6 billion were spent. Through the end of September 2022, more than $6 billion has been spent with weeks to go until election day.

Cornale says the Republicans are relying on mega donor special interest to fill their coffers. Alvarez argues they’re using a holistic approach, including large donors helping where smaller donors impacted by inflation cannot. Both acknowledge the stakes are high and it costs a lot to compete in these conditions.

“We’ve got to elect Republicans up and down the ballot in order to restore our country,” said Alvarez.

“Joe Biden talks about this as a battle for the soul of the nation and I take that very seriously. And we’re not going to unilaterally disarm in that battle,” said Cornale.

According to Open Secrets, an organization that follows campaign finance, the Democratic Party is outraising the Republican Party.

Sarah Bryner, director of research & strategy at Open Secrets says a large number of competitive races is leading to a lot of spending.

“We’re just seeing a continuation of what we’ve seen over the last two cycles which is explosive spending,” said Bryner.

Bryner says the polarizing Donald Trump era is still evident in races across the country with spending for and against Trump-style candidates is through the roof. She says spending is high up and down the ballot and across formats, with a lot of it going to online ads, in addition to television.

“Spending follows the eyeballs and the eyeballs are not opening direct mail leaflets to the same degree that we saw 10 years ago,” said Bryner.

Spending is expected to ramp up even more as election day nears. Open Secrets predicts to the tune of $9.3 billion.